Friday, March 18, 2011

One of those days...

Well, most of the day was actually pretty nice.  It was just later in the evening that went downhill.  I lifted today, and went for a hike at a nearby nature center because it was so nice outside. 

Beginner's class went fine; we mostly worked on self-defense from the back.  At the end we did a bunch of short rounds.  One of my rounds was with a really big new guy, and while I did survive, it was frustrating not being able to take advantage of his obvious mistakes, like getting my guard passed instead of armbarring him when he practically handed me his arm in my guard. 

Advanced class was somewhat simple, and now that I think about it was probably (at least partially) for my benefit.  We started with drilling an armbar just spinning your hips around to either side, then progressed to omoplatas.  The technique was a sweep or an armbar if they put a leg up and spinning your leg around.  For the sweep, hook your arm under their leg when they put their leg up.  Move your leg on that side up to clamp on their back, and bring the other leg around.  If they try to hunch down and tuck their head in, sweep by swinging your leg back, down under them, and push over with your clamped leg and bring that leg down as you come up, so you're in mount.  For the armbar, start with the same set-up and take it if they try to posture up and have their head straight up. 

After that, we did our guard-pass drill, and that's when shit went down. 

I went into this one blue belt guy's guard to start.  We've had our issues in the past, partially because he's really big and strong and sometimes he likes to mess around with people, and partially because I'm much smaller than him and "messing around" for him means "getting hurt" for me.  But I thought we were past these things and I was ok rolling with him again.  As I'm working to pass his guard, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but he made a quick move and grabbed something and the next thing I know, my calf is getting crushed and my knee is at kind of a weird angle.  I freaked out and yelped (mostly likely dropped some f-bombs), and he did nothing.  Then I tapped and he let go. I'm still sort of freaking out, about to hyperventilate, both from the pain and from getting stuck in that weird whatever-it-was, and one of my coaches came over and sent the guy away.  I told him I was ok and he pulled me up to go walk it off, but for some reason I just keep getting more and more upset about it.  I take a seat facing the back wall, and I did nothing but breathe and tried to relax.  Then my coach came over again, asked me if I was really ok, and then I started getting upset and almost crying again.  That's when he told me it seems like something more happened than what I let on, and then he walked away so I could collect myself.  It took me a little while, but I finally managed to calm down enough to join the class for the last few rounds of sparring.

As I'm changing out after class, I started thinking about what happened in my head and once again, I started getting upset about it.  I changed fast and left, and called my boyfriend (who also trains) once I got to my car.  Shocker of all shockers, I started bawling as soon as I called him.  I tried to explain what happened, except he basically bullied me into going back into the school and talking to my instructors.  I tried to convince him I could do it another day, but he wasn't having any of it.

So I go back into the academy, and of course the guy who this happened with was there, and he asked if I was ok, to which I said "no" and then I kind of got into with him, asking him why he did what he did, and then why he had to wait until I tapped to let go when it was obvious that I was in pain and needed out immediately.  He said that he had gotten his wrist stuck under my leg, and couldn't let go until I moved.  Of course, talking about it got me upset again, and I got more so when he told me I needed to calm down.  One of our other instructors had kind of worked his way on over by this point, so I just told the guy to forget about it and went and talked to my instructor.  I apologized for making a scene and explained my side of the story.  As I'm explaining what happened to him, our third instructor also comes in so he can hear it.  I kind of held it together, but for whatever reason, every time I try to talk about it I get upset.  In the end, he basically tells me that this guy does sometimes mess around with people, he's so strong he sometimes doesn't realize how much pressure he can be putting on someone.  But he would talk to him about it, and then asked me how I would like him to handle it as my instructor; if not rolling with him was a choice I wanted.  For now, I definitely think that's best, because I just don't feel safe rolling with him.  

I don't know why I get so upset when things like this happen.  There's no serious harm done, and as far as I can tell he didn't mean to really hurt me.  But something about the incident scared me, and his intent still remains cloudy to me, and I just can't fathom what was going on in his head.  Does he forget I'm small and skinny?  Does he forget that I'm not Jess, the brown belt?  Or does he really just not think about what he's about to pull?  Or is it more my fault for freaking out over getting stuck in a really awkward position that just took time to get out of?  Let me make something clear, I hate crying.  I almost never do it.  There are certain times, like finding out my cousin was in hospital with a ruptured brain aneurysm, that I just break down.  It didn't help that situation that I was really stressed out.  Then there are certain movies, like Hotel Rwanda or Up, that I can't help but get a little watery eyed.  But other than that, I really don't cry.  Or rather, I didn't cry until I started jiu jitsu.  Then I would have moments--really, every few months there would be a couple of weeks--where everything just seemed to be going wrong and it felt like certain people were being bullies.  Usually there's other stuff going on in my life when these "crying weeks" happened, but I'm on spring break right now--I'm supposed to be relaxed!

Oh, and I'm starting to get heart palpitations again.  Wonderful. 


  1. Yeah, always very unpleasant when people put your knee at risk, particularly if they aren't responding to someone making obvious unhappy noises.

    I make sure to stop if somebody yelps or anything like that, just in case. The worst case scenario is sufficiently bad (broken limbs, unconsciousness etc) that it is very important to be certain your partner is safe at that point.

    Also good that your instructor said he wouldn't pair you up with that guy as a result. I always remember when a few years back, an instructor tried to pair up one of my favourite training partners with somebody who had injured her in the past.

    She said, to her face, "sorry, I don't want to roll with you," then rolled with someone else instead. Most people aren't that confident (me most definitely included), so it helps when the instructor takes some of the responsibility.

  2. Don't worry about looking rude or psychotic. You're fine. That was an appropriate reaction to what happened - potential injury, you were scared, angry and unsure of what to do.

    The important thing is that you identified what was going on in your head and with the roll, told the relevant people about that and made sure people knew what was up. Good job.

    As far as me and crying, it's a mixed bag.

    Jits wise, I've had ribs that hurt so bad I had to spend hours in a tub to take some of the weight/pressure off them, but no tears. However, when a kick to the face broke my nose and split my lip in a soccer game, I involuntarily teared up.

    But I cried at one particular scene of The Notebook (when he goes back to her in the hospital). My girlfriend made fun of me for weeks.

    Physical pain - no tears, usually. Powerfully emotional stuff - possible tears.

  3. @Tree Frog and @slideyfoot Thank you both for your comments. To be honest, I probably shouldn't have gone back to rolling with this guy anyways, not because of anything wrong with him but just because I still feel tension myself. Ever since I broke my arm, my instructors have been pretty chill about me picking my partners. Lately I've been trying to stop from shying away from big people, but it looks like I'm still not ready for some of them. I appreciate the support!